Shoot-out Review: Cheap Fountain Pens, The Next Generation: Chapter 1: Pilot Petit 1
When Doug started his Cheap Pen Reviews, I
foolishly offered to review a few more that I had purchased in recent months.
Through my participation at D*I*Y Planner, I rediscovered fountain pens. I really forget how I first found this site. But I recall at some point, someone mentioned fountain pens and I got re-hooked. An old, neglected hobby of mine is calligraphy, so I have had a lot of experience with various ink pens, mostly dip pens due to the sort of inks I would use. I recall using a Schaeffer cartridge pen way back in high school (late 60's).
While cruising the internet looking for new pens to try and play with, I stumbled across JetPens. This site sells all sorts of Japanese-style pens: from fountain to gellies. I ordered a Pilot Petit1 and a Ohto Tasche Fountain Pen. This review covers the Pilot Petit1. I will review the Tasche next.
Credit where due: I have copied the following review format from Fountain Pen Network. Thanks, guys.
Ok, deep breath, back straight, knees together, hands over head, and jump in...
"I think my fountain pen is turning Japanese" - The Pilot Petit1 Fountain Pen
First Impressions (9/10): Maybe I am easily impressed, but I really liked the Petit 1 when I opened the package. These pens are not particularly fancy (II like a simple, functional design) nor are they very expensive.
Appearance & Design (9/10): A smooth, compact look, reminding me of the Fischer Space Pen with the added bonus of being transparent.
Weight & Dimensions (8/10): Light and compact. When I weighted it using my kitchen scale, it was 8 or 9 grams 4 inches long capped, 3.5 inches long with the cap removed, and 5 inches long with the cap on the end.
Nib & Performance (10/10): The nib says "F", so I assume it's a fine point. I find the pen's diameter comfortable in my hand. Without the cap, I put the end of the pen in my palm to write. With the cap on, I hold it in the traditional manner. Both ways are very comfortable.
Filling System (6/10): The Petit 1 uses a non-standard cartridge system. This means you must buy Pilot Petit1 refills as opposed to generic. The good news is that they are not expensive and come in a variety of colors. They come in capsules containing three cartridges. JetPens lists 16 different ink colors (US$2.00 each), and JStationery lists 15 colors (US$1.90 each).
Conclusion (Final score: 8.3): I love these little pens. My only disappointment to date involves catching one on a pocket and snapping the clip off. I think they are great starter pen because of their low price. I imagine they would have appeal to the artistic type because the ink comes in so many different colors. It is small enough for a child's hand, but not too small for an adult hand.